Mac Jones on facing Tom Brady: It’s not one person versus one person, it’s 11 on 11

Tom Brady‘s return to New England is deservedly the top story across the NFL this week. But he won’t be the only quarterback on the field Sunday night.

Rookie Mac Jones is coming off the roughest start of his young career, throwing three interceptions in the Patriots’ Week Three loss to the Saints. And while there’s some inherent pressure facing the greatest quarterback of all time when he returns to the place where he played for two decades, Jones downplayed that factor when speaking to the media this week.

“It’s not like one person versus one person, so I think that a lot of it is 11 on 11, and that’s what goes into it, and that’s how they’re going to look at it,” Jones said Wednesday, via Jake Levin of “That’s how every team looks at it. It’s just you’re getting a chance to compete in a primetime game, and it just kind of is what it is.”

As a former Alabama quarterback, Jones has played in high-leverage situations before. He’s planning to lean on the “do your job” mantra during Sunday’s matchup.

“I think it just goes back to really with pressure, you just got to focus on doing what you’re supposed to do, and people who have jobs in high-pressure situations, that’s what they do,” Jones said. “They do their job really well, and they prepare really hard, so it’s all you can control, and once the hay is in the barn, the hay is in the barn, and you just got to go play, and I think everyone will be excited, and we’re just going to be ready to play when it happens.”

It’s going to be tough enough for Jones to go against Tampa Bay’s strong defense on Sunday. The rest of the Patriots are going to have to step up and help the rookie quarterback when necessary. If they don’t, it could be a long night.